In a match that on paper should have been fairly easy for Napoli, Arkadiusz Milik saved the day as he came on off the bench and scored a brace which lifted the partenopei to a 3-1 win.
Napoli came flying into the lead up to the match as they just came off a 2-1 win against Kiev in Champions League play, whereas Bologna scrapped a 2-1 win against a tough Cagliari squad just a week prior to the match at the San Paolo.
There was lots of enthusiasm surrounding Arek Milik before the match because of his astounding start to life in Naples. Milik scored a brace against Milan in his first start in a Napoli jersey and he also scored a crucial brace in the Champions League match away to Dynamo Kiev. Therefore, many were surprised with Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri’s decision to start Manolo Gabbiadini instead of the man on form, Milik.
That decision proved to be a bit costly as Gabbiadini did not put in an effective performance at all and was thus substituted for Milik after Napoli conceded a goal to Bologna through a wonder-strike from Simone Verdi. Then came crunch time, as Maurizio Sarri looked to the bench for someone to save the day, his eye caught the new big-money signing from Ajax, Arek Milik.
As soon as he came on, Milik looked very dangerous after he made a few darting runs into space but his teammates could not find him. Then came the moment, in the 67th minute, where Milik found himself on the end of a perfect Marek Hamsik through ball and the big striker lobbed the ball over Bologna ‘keeper, Da Costa, to give Napoli the lead.
Furthermore, Milik kept on getting involved in link-up play to try and grant Napoli an all-important two goal lead. Then, in the 78th minute, Milik found himself with the ball at his feet in acres of space outside of the box and blasted home for the two goal lead. An exquisite finish and further proof that Milik should be the automatic starter for Napoli in their upcoming matches.
Now, after his brace against Bologna, Arek Milik increases his goal tally in what has been nothing short of an extraordinary start to his career in the South of Italy, with 6 goals through 5 matches played. He has had a better start to his Napoli career than Higuain and Cavani. However, whether he can score consistently at this high of a level still remains to be seen, but after this amazing start, who can really doubt him anymore?
There were many doubters of Napoli’s judgment when they broke the bank for their replacement at striker. Many believed Milik would get lost in the dark shadow casted by Higuain above the club. However, Arek Milik has proved and will hopefully continue to prove his worth to Napoli supporters around the globe, thus making them forget about Higuain.
Will Milik perform better than Higuain and Cavani did at Napoli? That still remains to be seen, however with the amazing start the youngster has had, who’s to say he can’t surpass both former strikers?